How to get Discovered

by Anthony Smith

Man looking for candidates

Aspiring actors often ask, "How can I get discovered?" One way that many actors get discovered is they POSITION themselves to be discovered!

How is it that some people get discovered as actors? Why does it seem like they don't have to work so hard to get the attention of agents, directors and casting directors? Why do some people get all the good roles? There is a reason for everything!

It's easy to say, "They're just lucky." Or "They were just in the right place at the right time."

Aspiring Actors often ask the question "How can I get discovered?" The answer is simple and logical, but on the other hand being discovered as an actor it is far from easy to make happen. At the same time, however, let's not mislead anyone. Being discovered out of the blue without any preparation or without having done any work is about as likely as winning the multi million dollar lottery. Some people play all their lives and never win.

One way that many actors get discovered is... Are you ready? They POSITION themselves to be discovered! That's right, and here's how.

By POSITIONING yourself to be discovered I mean:
  1. Start training and don't stop no matter how good you think you are or how good others tell you are, so that when you do put yourself up in front of the right people, you will be ready!
  2. Study the industry. Find out how it works. Find out who casts what, what agents look for in an actor, what the unions do, what the current issues are in the industry, etc.
  3. Figure out what your type is. This is a concept you need to be familiar with! It will help you funnel you marketing efforts.
  4. Learn basic business, networking and self-promotional skills. So important! You need to make sure you stand out from everyone else. You need to be delicately tenacious as well!
  5. Learn how to audition. Auditioning and acting on set are two different beasts. Auditioning is like the serve in tennis. It's completely different from the rest of the game.
  6. Surround yourself with people who are already doing what you want and not with people who are trying to get what you want. You are more likely to learn from people who are already doing what you want to do. So go find them and learn from them!
  7. Talk to both working actors, who are making a living from acting as well as to aspiring actors who have been talking a lot over the past couple of years and really haven't done very much. You can learn from both groups! From one you learn what to do. From the other, you will learn how NOT to be.
  8. Stay curious and never ever think you know it all. Be humble. You can always get better, whether in your acting technique, auditioning, sharpening your monologue delivery, on-camera technique, learning about the industry or whatever. You never stop learning!
  9. Once you start to achieve some success, help others who are in the same position you were once. You'll see that it will pay off.
  10. At some point during all this you should ask yourself (and be honest) if you really, honestly and truly have the passion for acting to DO WHAT IS NECESSARY to succeed. Without that passion much will be lost and it will be difficult for you to achieve the success you desire. And what's more, you probably won't be very happy.
Once you do those things regularly, you will start to intuitively know how to position yourself to be discovered.
Anthony Smith left a successful corporate career as a senior manager in Nike and Levi's after 15 years to follow his dream of becoming an entrepreneur, writer, motivational speaker and actor. While enjoying success in his "new" life, Anthony shares his business insight and acting experience with young actors. Aside from acting work, he has created and his first book, "Acting Career Start-Up: Four Key Factors For Success," is available now.

Copyright © Anthony Smith. Used with permission of the author. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or distributed.
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